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Roasted Chestnut & Sweet Potato Cottage Pies – Sincerely Tori
Everybody knows, a turkey and some mistletoe……will help to make the season bright… …but this isn’t a turkey recipe. Actually, we’re going meatless today, I hope that’s cool with you guys. Wow, CHRISTMAS WEEK! Do you realize we’re now close enough to realistically start counting down in hours and minutes! There are so many things I want to get done in the next few days and, even though I know it is physically impossible to finish my list, I can still try right? So excited! So for those of you just joining in, I should mention that I’m doing recipes inspired by Christmas songs this week. Yesterday was Winter Wonderland with my little snowflake cakes and today it’s The Christmas Song. You know, like “Chestnuts roasting on an oped fire….. Jack Frost nipping at your nose….”. Some people call it the chestnut song also. I’ve always loved this song but now it has extra meaning because it’s the song that was playing when Josh proposed to Liv at Christmas time so it always makes me think of them and their (almost sickeningly…[just kidding]) sweet love story. They kind of got to grow up together and then both marry their first love. So perfect! Now they have their son and this is going to be his first Christmas! He’s just getting to the age where he wants to go everywhere and the presents under the tree are such a huge temptation for the poor kid, it’s been taking a lot of extra effort to keep him away from them. So I had every intention of actually roasting these over an open fire, but it’s been so rainy that I had to settle for oven-roasted instead. Still good though. Chestnuts remind me of when I first moved to Chile and was still adjusting to the major changes. I remember seeing the pokey green pods falling from a tree in my backyard and having no clue what they were. I called them “spiky acorns of death” That was when we lived in a different area. Now I don’t know of any trees close enough to pick nuts. I feel I should give an honorable mention to my good friends Carlos and Nora for sharing these chestnuts from their trees. The funny thing is that Nora gave them to me months ago and I had to freeze them in order to have them for Christmas. You see, they aren’t actually in season until around April (because that’s autumn time for the southern hemisphere) so when I got them I knew I wanted to save them for exactly this purpose. Now do you get why I’m always planning ahead? I’m so glad I did that because it made the perfect addition to these cottage pies. My mom and sisters were the only ones in my family who enjoyed these, but they loved them! They said it was like everything they love about a classic holiday dinner in one dish. I added white beans for some heartiness and I even threw in some apples for that extra holiday touch. You can make these individually like I did or feel free to do it all in a casserole dish if that’s easier. Also, if you can’t seem to find chestnuts you can replace them with potatoes. I know, weird right?, but if you’ve ever tasted chestnuts you’ll know that’s what they resemble. You could throw in some pecans or walnuts to get that nuttiness and add crunch too.